PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown women's hockey team announced its end of the year of awards at its annual hockey banquet this past weekend and senior defender Samantha Stortini (Sudbury, Ontario) was honored as the team MVP. Other awards bestowed included the Sakuma Award winners, the Chelsea MacMillian Pride and Perseverance Award and the Panda Cup.
Stortini, a defender and tri captain from Sudbury, Ontario, sacrificed her body countless times for the Bears. She played in every game in her rookie season and had a team-high 20 blocks. In her second season she was named an assistant captain and finished second on the team with six assists. Last season, she led the team in blocks, yet again showing off the family's bloodline in hockey as her brother currently plays in the NHL. This year, the captain has not let numerous injuries stop her from playing the game she loves and has been the consummate leader on and off the ice.
"Stortini is the consummate warrior. I only wish that the wear and tear on her body could keep up with her drive and determination," said head coach Digit Murphy. "She has played through unbelievable pain in her hips and knees through her career and rarely missed games until the first part of the year when she had knee surgery. You can't keep her off the ice, because her love of the game exceeds any pain that she has dished. Her character, heart and work ethic are cornerstones of our program. Personally, I am going to miss her hard nosed, no nonsense approach. I have coached hundreds of players and there are very few players in the country with the throwback, in-you-face, gritty, sacrificing, selfless play that Samantha brings to the Ice. Stortini is a loyal warrior to her coaches – and advocate for our hard working philosophy – and I could not be more proud of what she has given to Brown Hockey over the past four years.
The Chelsea MacMillian Pride & Perseverance Award went to junior defender Paige Pyett. One of the toughest players for the Bears, Pyett gutted out 28 games, missing just one game due to injury, while helping to anchor the backline for Brown. She tallied three assists on the season, the third-straight season she registered at least three helpers.
The 2010-11 Panada Cup winner was senior Erica Kromm. A forward and tri-captain, Kromm has done it all for the Bears, playing every position except goalie. In her sophomore season she was named an All-Ivy League Honorable Mention selection. Last season she finished second on the team with seven assists, and this year she was a stalwart on the team's top line, anchoring a young, developing offense.
The Tara Mounsey Award, which honors the team's best defensive player, went to a rookie. Freshman Samantha Woodward turned it on down the stretch for the Bears and became one of the most reliable defenders for Brown. Woodward tallied a goal and three assists for four points in her freshman season, while tallying 26 shots on net.
Brown honored its top scorers for the year, which was a tie between two sophomore forwards. Laurie Jolin, 10 goals, seven assists, 17 points and Alena Polenska, 10 goals, seven assists, 17 points, shared the honor.
The Bears also presented thier Academic Excellence award to forward junior Katelyn Landry. A COE concentrator, Landry boasted a 3.0 GPA while playing in every game for the Bears this year.
Three rookies were awarded their "first pucks," symbolizing their first career goal with the Bears. Recipients included Woodward, Hoyle and Vanessa Welten.
Five players were awarded with the Sakuma Perfect Attendance Award, which honors those who did not miss a single practice or game during the 2010-11 season. Those student-athletes included Landry, sophomore Katie Jamieson, and freshmen Jennifer Nedow, Jessica Hoyle, and Kelly Kittredge.